College Costs

(HEA Title I, Section 132)


Quick Take: Through the active involvement of the NAICU membership, the new law does not include price controls on institutions.  However, the law does include several provisions related to college prices -- most notably a series of "College Affordability and Transparency Lists," beginning in July 2011, aimed at highlighting those institutions with the highest prices and highest rates of price increases. Institutions with the highest rates of price increases over the three-year period preceding that date will be required to submit reports to the Secretary of Education.
Other cost-related provisions include the development of a "Higher Education Pricing Summary Page" for each institution, which will break out net price information by income categories.  Colleges also must post a net price calculator on their Web sites within three years.  Additionally, the Secretary will post a multi-year tuition calculator on the College Navigator Web site within one year.
When Will This
Take Effect?
  • The "College Affordability and Transparency Lists" will be published on July 1, 2011.  The base year for calculating changes in tuition and fees price will be the 2008-09 academic year.  Based on current Department of Education information-collection procedures, the base year for net price calculations will be 2007-08.
  • Institutions must post on their websites a net price calculator no later than two years after the Secretary of Education develops a model net price calculator.  The  model calculator is to be developed by August 14, 2009.
  • The breakout of net price information by income categories must be available by July 1, 2010, for inclusion on a new "Institution Pricing Summary Page."
These provisions are not subject to negotiated rulemaking, although the Secretary of Education may issue regulations under normal procedures.  In addition, the Commissioner of Education Statistics will convene "technical review panels" to develop guidelines for calculating "net price," and to develop a net price calculator.
Who on Campus May Need to Be Involved?  President; business office; student financial aid; institutional research; campus webmaster; public information office
Additional Resources Statuatory Language
HEA101 Web Keyword for More Information: College Costs